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28 April 2018

Transcript: Wide Receiver Justin Watson Conference Call

(On why he decided to go to Penn)
“Coming out, I didn’t have a lot of I-A offers. In fact, the only two offers I had at Division I-A level were Buffalo and Akron out of the MAC and for me, Penn was just the best fit for both football and academics. I knew that if football worked out or if it didn’t, I’d be able to provide for my family and support them either way. After I had a good freshman year and I knew I had a chance at the NFL, I put everything into it. I put the Ivy League career and that degree- that was plan two for me. Plan one was to get to the NFL and put everything I had into it. To be a Buc today and to get that call was just a dream come true. It made so much hard work worth it.”
 
(On when he will graduate from the Wharton School of Business at Penn)
“I’m about to graduate. I have one more final this Wednesday and then I’m home free.”
 
(On playing on Franklin Field while at Penn)
“That’s one of the things that I fell in love with at Penn. Just the tradition and the history in that building, you don’t really realize it until you experience it and feel it every Saturday. It’s like playing in a museum. There’s so many legends that have played there and so many stories that have come out of Franklin Field. I absolutely love playing there. It was my favorite place to play in the Ivy Leagues. There’s a lot of cool, ancient stadiums but nothing beats Franklin Field.”
 
(On if playing in the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl helped him)
“Tremendously. I think the last question mark I needed to answer coming out of the FCS was how would I do against bigger names and bigger school talent. It’s something that I had been waiting for for four years when I came out as a senior in high school and didn’t have any I-A offers. All I wanted to do was prove that I could play against those I-A defensive backs. To go down there and be able to do that, like you said, it was right in Tampa Bay. I got to work with Coach [Skyler] Fulton, who is the receivers coach, along with a lot of the other offensive staff down in Tampa. So, I think being able to work with them for a week, get their coaching and respond to. It helped me so much.”
 
(On his athleticism)
“I think the most important thing is receivers always catching the ball and getting open. One thing for me, my athletic ability definitely helps me. Especially those two weeks where I noticed when I used my speed and my power for releases and to get open and really just stuck to those strengths, I don’t think I was covered at all at the East-West Game or at the Senior Bowl when I was doing that. So, talking to Coach Fulton and Coach [Todd] Monken and the staff, they said the plan coming in is to work those strengths, use those strengths and continue to develop everything else as a receiver in the meantime.”
 
(On his brother Tommy, who has cerebral palsy)
“My brother, Tommy, he’s the oldest brother in my family, 28-years old. When I was growing up, he was just my older brother. I didn’t think any differently of him growing up. He was just my older brother. The one thing that I noticed – I always tell this story – I was going through high school football camp and we were going through two and three-a-days and my legs were sore and my feet were blistered and I was complaining about how tired I was and my feet hurt and I’m complaining down the hallway. Then I turn into a room and I see my brother and he’s just smiling, ear-to-ear, as if to say if he had one day in my shoes, he would run until he threw up and his feet were bleeding and as soon as he could, he’d get back up and start running again. From that moment on, he’s been my inspiration and the guy that, whenever it gets tough and whenever I have a bad day, I just realize my brother Tommy finds a way to smile every single day. If I can’t enjoy coming out and playing football and getting in the weight room, what am I doing?”
 
(On if growing up with his brother Tommy has influenced his perspective in life)
“Absolutely. I just saw any time someone could make my brother smile and just lift him up for a minute, just how much I appreciated it and what a wonder it did for my family. We were a Make-A-Wish family growing up and my brother was able to get an out-of-the-ground swimming pool from Make-A-Wish and he loved going into that swimming pool and it was one thing that loosened him up and put a smile on his face. Always it’s been my mission – I’ve seen people give to our family and how much it can lift someone up in a time of need. That’s what I want to live for in the NFL.”
 
(On which NFL receiver would most remind him of himself)
“I think one that I compare pretty closely to is Jordy Nelson, especially early on in his career. I think athletically we are a pretty similar profile, we are both just crisp route-runners, no wasted movements. I don’t think when you look at his game or my game there’s any fancy moves at the top of my routes, at the beginning of the routes. I just run good, clean, consistent routes. I find a way to get open using my athletic ability.”
 
-BUCCANEERS-

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